NWA October 2020 Newsletter
Issue 20 - 10
What's in this newsletter:

President's Message
NWA President Todd Lericos

Well, here we are two weeks beyond our 2020 Annual Meeting and our first ever fully virtual meeting. When I take the time to reflect on the meeting, it is hard to believe that it has already come and gone. Initial reactions from those that attended have been very positive. I sincerely hope that the Annual Meeting met your expectations. I know that it met mine, and then some.

The NWA wants to hear your feedback. If you have not taken the time to fill out the Annual Meeting Survey, please do so. We take in all feedback in order to improve your experience year after year. We are especially curious this year given the virtual nature of the meeting. What did you like about it? What can be improved? What are your ideas for future meetings? Feel free to be open with us. We read it all.

Those of you that did not attend the meeting, fear not. This year everything was recorded! You can go and watch all the presentations, talks and activities at your leisure. Currently all this material is still on the Whova app and accessible to registrants. All material will be transferred over to the Member Connect system at a later date. This means you have plenty of time to watch all the material if you desire. This is a nice benefit of this year’s virtual setting.

What is very clear after this year’s Annual Meeting is that we are likely to have some sort of virtual component to our Annual Meetings in the future. We have proven that this format can be useful and informative for our members. Best of all, it allows more of you to attend and take advantage of the value that the NWA provides to your professional development. We are excited to exploit this new opportunity.

The theme of this year's meeting was clearly oriented on the future of our organization and career fields in general. There were some controversial and very forward-thinking ideas about what operational meteorology will look like in the future. Based on some of the chat discussions and my own personal communications, the theme had the desired result: to get people talking about the future.

Naturally, we must now look forward and beyond the Annual Meeting. It should comfort you to know that your NWA Board has not been idle in 2020. We have been working on orienting this Association through longer term strategic objectives. Those objectives will be focused on how this Association plans to provide you (its members) value in your professional careers. This no easy feat as the future is moving at us quickly and much of it is uncertain—similar to the weather we forecast. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the group of highly intelligent and professional folks that sit on the NWA Board are up to the challenge!

You will hear more from me in the coming months about how these future activities will shape up. I have some work to do before handing over the reins to Nate Johnson in 2020. I plan on crossing the finish line in a sprint.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy October.

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Annual Meeting Registration Still Open for Members

Registration is still open! This year's virtual meeting was recorded and can still be viewed in the Whova meeting app. 

Annual Meeting rates still apply and vary in price according to member type. Seal Holders can also receive CEUs by attending and viewing sessions.

Have questions? Email us at [email protected]

Register here.

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Annual Meeting Award Winners

Congratulations to this year's Annual Award Winners!

Watch the full Awards Ceremony here.

Operational Achievement Individual Award

This award is presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to operational meteorology (e.g., an accurate and timely forecast for one or more significant weather events or for long-period achievement).

Award Winner: Samuel H. Coleman (NWS CAE)

For heroic achievement through issuing nine Tornado Warnings in three hours during the April 13, 2020 Tornado Outbreak which directly saved at least 25 lives.


Operational Achievement Group Award

This award is presented to a group of two or more individuals for a significant contribution to operational meteorology.

Award Winner: David Rudack (NWS/MDL/Statistical Modeling Branch)

For improving the accuracy and consistency of forecasts across the weather enterprise via free access to the groundbreaking National Blend of Models.


The Larry R. Johnson Special Award

This award is presented to an individual or a group to recognize unique events or extraordinary accomplishments, which significantly contributed to operational meteorology.

Award Winner: Alex DeSmet and the Idaho Pathfinder Group

For working strategically to improve collaboration between partners, seeking to reduce weather's impact on surface transportation for public safety.


Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization directly assisting the meteorological community in providing weather-related information to the public. Individuals and organizations in the meteorological profession are ineligible for this award.

Award Winner: Michael Wilhelm (Posthumous)

For his decades of dedicated service as a storm spotter, his determination to improve the warning process by providing critical weather information to the meteorological community, and his genuine love of weather and sense of caring for people that saved lives in his home state of Alabama.


Public Education Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization providing significant contributions to increase the public's weather awareness.

Award Winner: NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Riverton, Wyoming, Outreach Team

For Outstanding Severe Weather Safety and Public Education Efforts involving the Wyoming Weather Ready Nation Weather School Project in Central and Western Wyoming


Local Chapter Award

This award is presented to a Local Chapter of the NWA whose activities have significantly increased awareness of the weather and of the NWA in their local area.

Award Winner: University of Oklahoma Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association (OU SCAN)

For their devotion to increasing weather awareness in the local community and beyond with an emphasis on inclusivity and diversity


The Special Lifetime Achievement Award

Award Winner: Elliot Abrams

For his pioneering weather radio broadcasts and his significant and truly outstanding contributions to operational meteorology sciences for more than 50 years.


Special Achievement Award

Award Winner: Weather Forecast Office - Shreveport, LA

Outstanding Warning and Decision Support During COVID-19


Special Achievement Award

Award Winner: Dr. Kandis Y. Boyd, PMP

For a lifetime of extraordinary leadership and accomplishment in developing and implementing awareness campaigns and broadening participation of traditionally underrepresented individuals in Meteorology. Dr. Boyd has dedicated her 25-year career to mentoring, leading, and broadening participation of traditionally underrepresented individuals in Meteorology. She has developed awareness campaigns, such as Turn Around Don't Drown (TADD), which is currently used by both operational meteorologists and broadcast meteorologists to inform and educate about the dangers of driving into flooded roadways. Dr. Boyd speaks to college students regularly, and has presented at numerous STEM events and career fairs, to promote science, technology, diversity, and inclusion. To date, Dr. Boyd has mentored over 20 NOAA employees, 30 college students, and presented to over 2000 elementary and middle school students. It is without reservation that I recommend Dr. Kandis Boyd, PMP for this esteemed honor.


Special Appreciation Award

Award Winner: Joby Smith (Bay County, FL Emergency Management Division)

For extraordinary efforts providing life-saving information and alerts to the residents of Bay County before, during and after the catastrophic Hurricane Michael.


Special Appreciation Award

Award Winner: Tim Brice (NWS El Paso) and the National School Outreach Team

Tim Brice (NWS El Paso) and the National School Outreach Team have provided hundreds of presentations to countless thousands of school-aged K-12 students across the United States and also internationally (United Kingdom, Mexico, Argentina, and Japan). 


Member of the Year Award

Award Winner: Morgan Barry

For her tireless leadership and hard work in 2020, not just for leading the NWA Social Media Committee, but for spearheading awareness campaigns such as #SafePlaceSelfie#WhyINWA, and Hurricane Awareness Week.


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Thank You to Annual Meeting Sponsors and Exhibitors



Thanks again to this year's Annual Meeting Sponsors and Exhibitors! 

Platinum Sponsor: Baron
Gold Sponsor: Factor110 
Silver Sponsor: Millersville University
Supporting Women in Meteorology Event Sponsor: Midland
R.A.C.E. (Racism and Current Events) Event Sponsor: AccuWeather

Millersville University
National Flood Insurance Program
WeatherReady Fest

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NWAF Scholarship and Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the following National Weather Association Foundation scholarship and grant recipients!

Jacob Zanker, University of North Dakota
2020 Dr. Roderick A. Scofield Scholarship in Meteorology


Amanda Novak, University of Oklahoma
2020 Bob Glahn Scholarship in Statistical Meteorology

Samantha Michlowitz, University of South Alabama
2020 Ken Reeves Memorial AccuWeather Undergraduate Scholarship in Meteorology
Nash Rhodes, University of Oklahoma
2020 NWA Broadcast Meteorology Scholarship

Dorien Minor, Georgia Institute of Technology
2020 David Sankey Minority Scholarship in Meteorology

2020 Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grant Recipients:

Jill Brown, We've Got Our Heads in the Clouds, Tupelo Elementary, Tupelo OK.
Heather Galyen, Feaster Farm, Feaster Charter School, Chula Vista CA.
Qiana Martin, Don't Let Weather Stop the Match, Eat Soccer, Inc., New York, NY.

Sam Yancey, 3D Modeling and Engineering, Robotics, Programming, and Investigating Renewable Energy and Weather Science in 2020, Bethel Elementary, Canton NC.

Visit nwafoundation.org for more information on scholarships and grants. To make a donation in support of these programs, visit nwafoundation.org/donate.

Thank You to Members Facing a Challenging Year
We want to thank our NWA Members who are working hard to provide top notch support during this busy tropical season.

We are sending well-wishes to you all, and hope for minimal impacts from Hurricane Delta.

COMET Fall 2020 Update
by David Russi, UCAR/COMET Translation Coordinator

Greetings from Boulder, Colorado! As we enter the fall season, we’ve already had our first snow right on the heels of a record-setting hot summer featuring plenty of wildfire smoke, both local and from points west. COMET staff continues working remotely producing materials in support of our community. Case in point: COMET partnered with NSF to map MetEd lesson content to U.S. university meteorology course curricula, and has started organizing the materials under a new “University Course Support” tab on MetEd’s Education and Training page. Take a look!

Below you will find links to COMET’s latest additions to our library of materials. We published six new English lessons covering surface precipitation instruments and measurement, tidal analysis, GNSS positioning, the NWS Aviation Program, and two updated lessons on rip currents. The precipitation lesson deserves special mention, as it is the culmination of a multi-year effort that completes the Instrumentation and Measurement of Atmospheric Parameters course , for which you can now earn a completion certificate.

All of us at COMET thank you for using our training materials and hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy in these difficult times.

New COMET Lessons in English

Instrumentation and Measurement of Surface Precipitation 

Using the NOAA Tidal Analysis Datums Calculator 

GNSS Positioning: Survey Planning and Data Acquisition 

Rip Currents: National Weather Service Mission and Partnerships, 2020 Edition 

Rip Currents: Nearshore Fundamentals, 2020 Edition 

The Structure of the NWS Aviation Program 

New COMET Lessons in Spanish

We published two Spanish GOES-R/JPSS satellite case studies, one aviation lesson on turbulence, and the instrumentation and measurement lesson on cloud hydrometeors and airborne particles.

Los instrumentos y la medición de los hidrometeoros de las nubes y las partículas en suspension 

Caso de estudio para GOES-16/JPSS: monitoreo del incendio de pastizales de Rhea (Oklahoma) 

Ejercicio y caso de estudio para GOES-R y JPSS: detección y monitoreo de incendios forestales en el oeste de los EE. UU. 

Cómo pronosticar la turbulencia en aire claro para la aviación 

Currently, these materials are freely available to everyone, courtesy of our primary sponsors: NOAA's NWS, NESDIS and National Ocean Service programs, EUMETSAT, the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, the Meteorological Service of Canada, Bureau of Meteorology, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation.

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NWA Event Calendar

The full NWA Event Calendar is located in Member Connect. Have an event to include on our NWA calendar? Submit them to [email protected]!

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October Webinar: Turning Mesoscale Analysis Into A Life-Saving Message: Moving Forward from the 2-3 March 2020 Tennessee Tornado Outbreak

New Seal Holder

Congratulations to Lauren Linahan on earning her TV Weathercaster Seal of Approval!

Follow Lauren on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

See all the other members who have earned a TV, Radio, or Digital Seal here, and more information on becoming a Seal Holder here.

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NWA Jobs Corner

Are you hiring? Reach a variety of candidates through the NWA Jobs Corner.


Current Jobs:

Meteorologist - KDRV (ABC), Medford, OR (9/30/2020)

Senior Production Analyst - College Park, MD/Remote (9/29/2020)

System/Dataflow Analyst - College Park, MD & Remote (9/29/2020)

View these jobs.

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Publisher: Janice Bunting, NWA CEO
Editor: Bryce McElhaney, NWA Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Technical Editor: Winnie Crawford

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